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New bishops in the Philippines

July 3, 2015. Pope Francishas nominated Msgr. Dennis C. Villarojo andFather Oscar J. L.Florencio to be the Auxiliary Bishops of the Archdiocese of Cebu(Philippines). Since 2010, Villarojo has been at the parish of OurLady of the Sacred Heart in Cebu City. Florencio has been the rectorof Saint John the Evangelist School of Theology since 2013.
World

Pope weighs in on economic crisis in Greece

July 1, 2015 The Vatican is weighing in on the economic crisis that is crippling Greece. Through a written statement, the Vaticans press office issued a release that reads "the dignity of the human person must remain at the center of any political and technical debate." It goes on to say that the Pope "wishes to convey his closeness...with a special thought for the many families gravely beset by such a keenly felt human and social crisis. The Pope then "invites all the faithful to unite in prayer for the good of the beloved Greek people.”
Vatican

Benedict XVI will spend two weeks at Castel Gandolfo

June 30, 2015. Thismorning at 10:00 a.m., Pope Francis said farewell to Pope EmeritusBenedict XVI, before he leaves for Castel Gandolfo. The meetinglasted about 30 minutes. The pope emeritus will return on July 14th< sup>,one day after Pope Francis returns from his trip to Latin America.
Vatican

Pope Francis creates Secretariat for Communication

June 27, 2015. The Popehas created a Secretariat for Communication, which will unify allVatican media, including the Press Room, Twitter and the PontificalCouncil for Social Communications. Its prefect is the Italian priestDario Viganò, and the number two is the Argentine Lucio Adrian Ruiz.
Pope Francis

Appointments

June 26, 2015. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Hector Luis Gutierrez de Pabon, who served as Bishop of Engativá, Colombia. His post will be taken by Francisco Antonio Nieto Súa, who up until now, served as the Bishop of San José del Guaviare (Colombia).
World

Holy See backs two-state solution in Middle East

June 26, 2015. The Holy See and thePalestine Liberation Organization (PLO) have officially signed acomprehensive agreement, in which the Holy See recognizes the Stateof Palestine and supports a two-state solution for peace based on the1967 borders.
World

Armenian Catholic Patriarch of Cilicia passes away

June 25, 2015. Pope Francis has written a telegram expressing his condolences over the recent death of the Armenian Catholic Patriarch of Cilicia, Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni. He was 75-years-old and had recently been at San Peters Basilica to celebrate Mass in remembrance of the Armenian Genocide.
World

Mexican bishop resigns after possible abuse of episcopal office

June 25, 2015. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Gonzalo Galván Castillo, who was until now bishop of Autlán, Mexico. A sexual abuse victim said in July of last year that he had been waiting for five years for the bishop to take action against the priest who abused him. Although the Vatican has not provided further information, this case could be treated as abuse of episcopal office.
World

Successor of Mother Teresa, passes away.

June 23, 2015. Sister Nirmala Joshi, the head of the Missionaries of Charity, has passed away at the age of 81. She died in the Indian city of Kolkate on Monday night, after suffering heart ailments. Sister Joshi was elected as head of the Missionaries of Charity in 1997.
Vatican

Trial against former apostolic nuncio accused of abuse will start on July 11th

June 15, 2015. The former apostolic nuncio to Dominican Republic, Józef Wesołowski will stand trial at a Vatican tribunal. The first hearing will take place on July 11th. Wesołowski has already been removed from the clerical state after being charged with possession of child pornography and sexual abuse of minors.
Vatican

American Archbishop Resigns After Mishandling of Abuse Allegations

June 15, 2015. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Msgr. John Clayton Nienstedt, who served as the Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis. He also accepted the resignation of Auxiliary Bishop, Rev. Lee Anthony Piche, from that same diocese. Recently, both were accused of ignoring accusations involving an abusive former priest who served in the Archdiocese.
World

Pope Francis to travel to Africa

June 12, 2015. The Vatican’s nuncio in the Central African Republic, Mons. Francesco Coppola, confirmed that Pope Francis is planning on visiting the country. He states it will take place on November 2015. It will be Pope Francis’ first visit to Africa.
World

New archbishop in Berlin (Germany)

June 8, 2015. The Pope has appointed Heiner Koch as the new metropolitan bishop of Berlin (Germany). Until now, he was bishop of Dresden-Meiβen.
World

New military ordinariate of Venezuela

June 8, 2015. Pope Benedict has appointed Adan Mendez Bracamonte to bemilitary ordinariate of Venezuela. Until now, he was military diocesan administrator.
Pope Francis

Appointments

June 5, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Augusto Munera Ochoa as the new Apostolic Vicar of Tierradentro, Colombia. He will take the post previously held by Edgar Hernando Tirado Mazo.
Pope Francis

Encyclical on Ecology

June 4, 2015. The Vatican has announced that the Popes encyclical on the Ecology will be released on Thursday June 18th.
Pope Francis

Putin will meet with Pope Francis

June 4, 2015. Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit the Vatican on June 10 and will meet with Pope Francis for the second time. His previous visit was on November 25, 2013.

First Year as Pope: Top 10 list to understand Pope Francis' pontificate

2014-03-11

It's been a year now since Pope Francis was elected. In these past 12 months, no one has been left indifferent. From the unusual circumstances under which he was elected, to the so called 'Francis' effect that's made its way across the globe. 

1- HELP 

As he introduced himself to the world, the first thing Pope Francis did, up from the balcony of St. Peter's, was bow his head and ask for prayers. The thousands of people gathered out in the Square, began to pray for his pontificate

POPE FRANCIS 
"I would like to bless you...but before I'd like to ask all of you for a favor. Before the bishop blesses his flock, I ask that you pray to the Lord, so that He blesses me. The prayer of the people, asking for the Bishop's blessing.” 

It was surprising at first, but soon it became a hallmark of his pontificate. 

"Pray for me.” 

"Pray for me.” 

"Pray for me.” 

"Don't forget, pray for me.” 

2- AUSTERITY 

His personal style also caught the world's attention. From his dress style to his car. 

He kept using the same black shoes he used before the conclave and also the same silver pectoral cross. He refused to use the papal Mercedes, opting instead for an Italian middle class car. 

Not just in Italy though. In Brazil, during World Youth Day, he also opted for a simple car

The crowds followed as the Pope made his way through the streets of Rio, with the windows partly open. Brazilians loved it, but the Pope's security team wasn't that amused.

3– PRESS CONFERENCE 

Without a doubt, the moment that marked his style was the improvised press conference he gave on the way back from Brazil. 

With the Vatican's spokesman at his side, the Pope had a 'no question is off limits' presser, for an hour and 22 minutes. 

This marked a new precedent. He has agreed to more than five thorough interviews. 

4- THE SICK

The Pope has a special place in his heart for the sick. Before celebrating the first Mass of his pontificate, he stopped the popemobile and embraced an ill person. It was a moving moment and since then the Pope has repeated the same gesture countless times. 

Including the embrace of Venicio, at the end of the audience. 

5- IMMIGRANTS 

The plight of refugees and immigrants who are forced to flee their native country is a major concern of Pope Francis. His very first trip, back in July, was to the Italian island of Lampedusa, where thousands of immigrants have died in their search for a better life. In his speech, the Pope used very direct words to make his point. 

POPE FRANCIS
July 8, 2013
"Who has cried for the people who were in that boat? Who has cried for the young mothers who brought their children? Who has cried for the men who were looking for ways to support their families?”

6– PEACE

As Syria dealt with its civil war and with the threat of an American attack looming, the Pope led a prayer vigil to ask for peace, along with thousands of people. With his constant appeals for peace in conflict ridden countries, the Pope was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. 

7- ENDEARING 

One of the most endearing moments happened at the 'World Meeting of Families' when this 6 year old Colombian boy decided he wanted to be next to the Pope at all times. Even as the Pope read his speech. Again, the Pope didn't seem to mind. 

8– JOKES 

When it comes to Pope Francis, there's never a lack of mate tea, since Argentine pilgrims usually offer some to the Pope. Images like this one are seen quite frequently. The Pope usually cracks a few jokes along the way. 

POPE FRANCIS 
"The kid is anti-clerical.” 

POPE FRANCIS 
February 14th, 2013 
"We all know there is no such thing as the perfect family, or perfect husband or wife. Not to mention ... the perfect mother in law.” 

9– HIS BRIEFCASE 

The Pope's schedule is always packed. He has meetings in the mornings and in the afternoons, so it goes without saying that he's always ready to work. The image of Pope Francis carrying his own briefcase, as he boarded a plane to Brazil, outlined his intentions. He wasn't going to World Youth Day as a tourist, rather he was ready to get things done. 

10- BENEDICT XVI 

The image of two popes praying together made its way across the globe. Pope Francis has visited Benedict XVI at least four times. The Pope has described him as a wise grandfather, he can consult. The last time they met was during the consistory in St. Peter's Basilica. 

As the Pope begins the second year of his pontificate, more moving and surprising moments are expected. Especially as he heads out to the Holy Land in May and then in October as he leads a Synod on the Family. 


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